How I’m Doing Resolutions Differently This Year

My experiment with habit building and personal growth

Steven Ma
6 min readFeb 3, 2022


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This year, I’m doing New Year’s resolutions differently. Why am I publishing this in February? Well, that might give you insight into how my resolutions are going so far.

I intended to publish this in January, you know, when everyone’s thinking about resolutions. I was thinking about them to, but didn’t implement them as quickly as I would have liked to, specifically writing.

So you could say I’ve already failed — I couldn’t even write and publish an article in the month of January. But this year is different. And so far I’m succeeding.


Well, that can be explained in the first change:

I’m using dates as catalysts

January is great time to start new habits. But so is February. And so is March or April or May.

We place so much importance on the month of January for resolutions to start new things and build new habits. If we don’t start something in January, or we can’t sustain something throughout January, then we feel like we’ve failed.

I had intended to write this article in January, and make a habit of writing an article once a month going forward. After I missed the January 31 deadline — I’ll be honest, I felt like scrapping this article completely. I even felt the temptation to give up on writing in short-term, and maybe try to pick it up again later in the year when I have more time.

Maybe that’s you. January feels like do or die, and if we can’t produce, then so much for the “new you.”

But… it’s February, and that is a new month. As of writing this, it’s the week of Chinese New Year, so I’m making this my new year. One article down — success so far.

Dates are intrinsically arbitrary, but if certain dates have significance to us, it’s worth using that as a catalyst to take action.

If you miss a seemingly significant date for starting something, just go to the next one. There’s the first day of spring or the first day of summer. There’s the first day of school or the first day of school break. There’s your birthday, or Mother’s…